Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. 3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Deuteronomy 8:2-3
The struggle to become a good steward of your finances begins with examining whom you allow to define contentment. Without a clear vision of what contentment looks like, there is no boundary to restrain us in our quest for more, and we are left to follow our desires unchecked and unplanned. The vision we have when it comes to our provision is to merely pay the bills, and if there is a little left over to splurge on ourselves a bit.
Our money is spent on whatever we happen to want at the moment, often appealing to the most insecure parts of our hearts. We tend to spend our time trying to think about what want, and only when we have it will we even consider what God wants to do with our finances. Sadly, we all use our money to build an ideal image of ourselves rather than serve to express the image of God, in which we have been made. The love of money is the allure of “just a little bit more.” Without vision for your provision, you will not find contentment.
Before we can decide what we actually “need” in order to be content, we must first examine what we believe about the source of our provision. Consider looking at contentment as a byproduct of trusting the fact that God will give you everything you need to do everything He wants you to do. You need a vision that compels you towards action. It must be big enough that it demands the discipline required to become a great steward. Until you get this you will default to old financial patterns and habits. Where there is no discipline, there is no vision.
So, how can you begin to understand the purpose of what is already at your disposal if you can’t take your eyes off what you think you still need? You may say that there is a point at which you will be content, but have you been honest with yourself about what amount of money, what size of a house, what type of car or what set of circumstances will finally make you happy?
You are prone to believe that you are responsible for your well-being, and much of what you experience confirms this. Think about how hard you work to get all of the things society tells you that you should want. This way ignores God as your Provider and leaves you with a lack of peace and a heavy heart. Sooner or later you risk no longer seeing God as your God or trusting His provision. Everything you have has been given to you. God is our creator and source of life. The critical path to contentment begins when you trust God for your provision.
In order to see what you have been trusted with, you must believe God possesses the power to fulfill your needs. His purpose for what He has given you are far more significant than the discontentment that our culture sells. When we trust God’s provision, we will begin to see that His provision is meant for His purposes.
- Where are you struggling to trust God when it comes to your provision?
- How does money serve as tangible trust?
God, rather than allowing the push for “more” to drive my actions and motives, help me to see contentment through Your eyes. May I have the courage to confront the places where fear, doubt, and shame influence my approach to finances. Let me worship You by being a good steward of the things around me. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.